Last week, our Three Personal Perspectives on Mental Health forum featured guest speakers who held forth with glorious honesty on mental health and their creativity. Writer and poet Barry Garner blew the audience away with his compelling, heartfelt and emotional pieces. It’s no exaggeration to say that Barry left not a dry eye in the house! We’re proud, therefore, to present his pieces online for the Twilight School community to read, ponder and savour.


Photo credit: Amanda Piper

The Ride

Yesterday was black,

Thick with a darkness I could feel.

There were no dreams,

No moments, just a chunk of time

Too heavy to budge.

Nothing seemed possible,

Even the basics were just too much.

I hid like always,

Turning my eyes away,

Praying to disappear,

But today is sunshine,

And a flower that looks like

The first I’ve ever seen.

Everything is light,

Especially my mind.

There is life,

I want life.

Yesterday, I wouldn’t speak.

Today, I want to to write a symphony.

It’s up.

It’s down.

It’s dead,

…then alive.

And all I can do is


the handlebars

and ride.

Barry Garner

(Previously published in Haloes in the Windscreen, 2011.)

Barry Garner, author of Haloes in the Windscreen and Heroes and Daydreams, is a writer, blogger and poet who has been published in The Age, Platform and Eureka Street. This short biography in no way encompasses the beauty, honesty and humanity that comes to life in his writing.